Monday, September 20, 2010

Goal Setting - Making Dreams Come True

I am researching on parenting tips on the internet when I chanced upon and the website shares a sample 4 page of a book on goal setting. I will like to reproduce the gist for the benefit of my readers:

Making Dreams Come True
How would you like to learn how to get the things you want? Children’s stories say fairies or genies make wishes come true, but really, you have everything it takes to get the things you want and make wishes come true yourself. It doesn’t take magic, except for the kind you already have inside you. Another word for “wishes” is “desires,” and another word for “coming true” is “manifesting.”

Desires manifest when you decide to do something about them. That’s called setting a goal. Sometimes wishes come true without that, but wishes sitting on shelves usually don’t amount to much. You have to take them down, dust them off, and make them go to work. Then things start to happen.

Very successful people have written famous books telling how they achieved their dreams. They knew a few secrets, and applied them to their wishes. That’s why they became successful when other people didn’t.

They knew and practiced the secrets of success, while people who didn’t know those secrets left their wishes on the shelf and pretty much forgot about them.

Wishes are not silly. They are important. They always have been. Many things that kids wish for and imagine about in their childhood become real when they grow up. Would that have happened if they had not had a dream?

Wishes are powerful, when you know how to use them. Some people say children are born knowing what they came into this world to do. They say we each have a special purpose, and that kids’ wishes and dreams are clues to what their special purpose is.

Grown-ups may have forgotten their purpose, but children usually remember theirs. They remember in the deepest part of their mind, a place called the Subconscious. Serious wishes come from there. They are messages from the deepest part of you, reminding you of what really matters.

Never give up on your serious wishes, because when you do, you give up on yourself. You give up on your purpose. Have you started to forget about your serious wishes? If so, it’s time to take them seriously again!"

We all know that we need to set goals but how many of us actually keep our new year resolution. Or even have a new year resolution to start with. I hope the above can be a wake-up call for all to start to dream again like a child and work seriously hard to make our dreams come true too.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nifty Memory Tools

Since late June this year, I have embarked on the journey to improve my memory. I used to pride myself with an enormous memory which has enabled me to ace History and Literature in my "O" Levels. It may be umpteenth years ago but victory was certainly memorable and has a sweet aftertaste. Probably due to neglect and to some irony the prevalence of modern day technology, a coat of rust formed on my once well-oiled memory.

Then through my Toastmasters Meeting, I met Nishant - a world record memory holder. He was not bornt with great memory but he trained himself to remember. Inspired, I picked up some skills from Nishant from his book.

Allow me to also avail you the key to unlock your memory capacity.

Rule number 1: This is the most important rule of all and it is given to you as an acronym - CARR. Connect, Associate, Recall and Review. Using this rule, you will be able to remember a list of things e.g. a shopping list. However, you will first need to "connect" two items with each and another. Then "associate" through imaging some action between the two. Thereafter, you try to recall and review on which are the items which you have difficulty remembering. The latter is usually due to weak association so you may want to change the association.

Rule number 2: Building upon rule number 1, we could use the Number Shaping or Rhyme Technique to help us remember a list of 10 or more items. What's more, we can remember the items in exactly the same order!

I prefer the Number Shaping Technique which uses the shape of the number to create an image. We then connect the image with the word we want to remember. I use this technique to good effect to remember my boys' spelling list - up to 15 words and give them spot test whenever we are.

The images to the numbers 1 to 10 are:

1 - Candle
2 - Duck
3 - a pair of glasses
4 - Yacht
5 - Hook
6 - Hockey Stick
7 - Street Lamp
8 - Hourglass
9 - Balloon with a string
10 - Baseball bat and ball

Let me explain the how to by using an example. The simile/metaphor list of my boy.

1. As light as feather - Imagine a feather floating on top of the candle. The feather is very light and is buoyed by the hot air above the candle
2. As regular as clockwork - Imagine a duck carrying a clock swimming on the lake.
3. As short as two planks - Imagine a boy wearing a pair of spectacles with two planks of wood. Excruciating!
4. As beautiful as a rose - Imagine Cindella (beautiful) on an yacht holding a rose.
5. Like a bear with a sore head - Imagine a hook on a bear's head - hence it has a sore head!
6. Like a bull in a china shop - Imagine a bull holding a hockey stick and breaking all the china in the china shop.
7. Like a cat on hot bricks - Imagine a cat on a street lamp with hot bricks on top.
8. Like a sack of potatoes - Imagine a sack of potatoes on the upperpart of hourglass.
9. Like a lamb to the slaughter - Imagine a lamb in the balloon and being pulled by the string to the slaughter.
10. Like a knife through butter - Imagine the baseball bat is like a knife that cuts through the ball (butter).

The above represents the Connect and Associate portion. If you want to commit it to memory, you will have to do the Recall and Review as well.

Try it! My elder boy has used it to good effect. It may seem very difficult at first but once you master it, you will be on the way to fantastic memory. Remember, practice makes .... better!

I am now learning the Ultimate System to remember long strings of number. Basically, it is a system whereby numbers are converted into images and then we use rule number 1 again to create the association. So far, I have managed to use the system to remember those difficult to remember 8-digit telephone numbers. It is like learning a new language - only now, it is simpler and fun :)

For those with children, you can share this set of tools with your children. For me, my P3 boy is ready but not my P1 boy - in time to come, he will be ready too. This is a life skill, it will definitely be helpful to help them ace that examination without stress. Not to mention, it will also be helpful to us to up our productivity at work.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My 10,000 hours Relationship

This year, I celebrate my 10,000th hour relationship with him. 10,000 hours is a mighty long time. 10,000 hours is the time needed for a small fry to shoot to catapult to a big shot, according to Malcolm Gladwell in "Outlier". And yes, our relationship has blossomed and bloomed after spending the magical 10,000 hours together.

Our relationship started off on a shaky note though. I rejected him as I was not confident of a long-distance relationship. His sincerity touched me and I was embraced into his warm, welcoming arms soon after.

Okay, I have better stopped before I get carried away further. What I mean is that this year marks the 10,000th hour of my relationship with my unit.

The Early Beginning

The year was 2005 when I knew that I was transferred to the then newly-minted unit. It was the time when I was busily gearing myself for a new phase in my life - to be a stay-at-home mum in USA. So after a few months of the establishment of the unit, I started on my personal adventure - leaving him to the good hands of the pioneers of unit - SK and HL.

Through Thick and Thin

It was only a year later in 2006 that I joined SK and HL. The initial years were challenging as the unit needed to build a niche for itself. Under the then leadership of LC and then TLC, we blazed new trails and ventured into uncharted work areas in the formative years of the unit. There was never a dull moment. Strong team spirit was forged during those trying times.

Change in Stewardship

A few years later, HY joined us as the captain of this ship. There are new crew members - EA, MF, CY, YT and TR - who joined this team of wonderful people. As the Chinese saying goes "it's difficult to start a business, tougher yet to sustain it." The results speak for itself. The unit has more than delivered what it sets out to do. It maybe a cliché but it's true - the only constant is change. Not just to our work area but also our team members. EA has since been transferred out and so will I.

A Pleasure Always

But I will always be thankful of the many marvelous memories and fabulous friendship that were formed. Not forgetting that I will still be part of the family and always round the corner. So if you have any problem with your work, you are always welcome to pop by. Afterall, two brains are better than one and work will miraculously turn from pain to pleasure. Whoever says that "No Pain No Gain" should re-word it to "No Pleasure No Gain". Guess that it what that gravitates us to look forward to coming to work everyday.


A Primary 3 Essay

Below is the essay which my boy wrote for his recent CA English paper. I commended him for a job well done and obtained his permission to share his little piece of work. Enjoy!

It was a sunny day. The sun-drenched morning sky promised another hot day. Tom and Jill were in high spirits as their parents were bringing them to the playground. They walked there.

When they reached their destination, it was noon. Many children were running around, playing on the slide, swinging and also riding on the see-saw. With all the excitement going on, Tom and Jill could not wait to play. They ran around like bulls in a china shop, taking and throwing things that did not belong to them.

Suddenly, something caught Jill's attention. It was a girl standing on a swing. Looking at her mischevious face, you should know what happened next. She ran towards the swing and stood on the swing and swung happily from side to side. Tom quickly came to warn her, "It's very dangerous to do that!" Unfortunately, his kind words fell into deaf ears.

All of a sudden, Jill lost her balance and fell of the swing. All the children who saw the whole incident dare not stand on the swing again. Jill started to wail very loudly. Tom told his mother what had happend. Then she came to comfort Jill.

Luckily for Jill, she was not badly injured. Jill heaved a sigh of relief as she did not need to go to the hospital. Jill had learnt her lesson - not to follow people who did the wrong things.